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Feb Recap and then semi live NYNY 11/26 - 12/01

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Stuart Hopkin, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Hi Everyone

    I have been reading the trip reports on here for the past 12 months and have thoroughly enjoyed them all!

    Not sure I am going to be able to compete with the incredible reports produced by NFC, WelshBlonde and Wasilla but we will see what happens.

    We don't fly until Tuesday but I thought I would get this report started with a recap of my trip back in Feb, and a few posts about travel plans etc before going kinda live on Tuesday morning.
     
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  2. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    So back in February there were 3 of us flying over from the UK meeting 2 of my friends in Vegas who were flying in from Chicago and New York.

    This would be my 7th trip to Vegas since my first in 2009. Its quite a journey from the UK and back then the Virgin Atlantic flights were from Gatwick at 10.20am.
    Living in Nottingham its a 3 hour drive if the traffic is good so as normal we planned to be on the road at 4.30am

    Back in the pre-kids days, I would have driven down the night before, but now a night at the airport just means one less night in Vegas!
    It was the first time for one of the guys from the UK, he was excited, we had spent weeks telling him all about it, and how the first day is always an epic 24 hour drinking session.....

    Unfortunately when Matt knocked on his door at 4.00 am there was no answer. I got a rather concerned phone call asking what to do? What could we do? We had a plane to catch!

    We were a man down and we hadn't even left the country!

    About three quarters of the way to the airport we heard from our AWOL companion, a combination of excitable pre-trip beers, leaving his phone on silent, and not having a good alarm clock meant he had slept straight through!

    Our drive was pretty uneventful, we arrived at the airport in good time, grabbed some breakfast and a swift four pints of Shipyard before boarding the plane at 10am.

    We did have time to send a picture of where the missing man should have been sitting....

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Everyone was in good spirits on the way as they always are on a plane full of people heading to Vegas.
    We had Premium Economy seats in the upstairs section of the plane, would definitely recommend these as its a much smaller area, and the service always seems more attentive.

    10 hours later we land in Vegas and head to the Aria where we will be for the next 4 nights while the other two are at the Linq.

    4 pints at the airport and 10 hours drinking on the plane should be enough but the excitement of that arrival day always keeps you going.

    Bags dumped in the room we headed straight down to the Lobby Bar to wait for B from NY. Whilst at the Lobby Bar we were introduced to a new beer that would pretty much ruin the entire trip, the delicious Wolf Pup by Golden Brewing.

    B arrived, a few more Wolf Pup's were enjoyed and we headed off for a wander. Can't really remember exact details that afternoon but I do remember ending the evening having a drunken blow up at a blackjack table in O'Sheas losing about 2 days budget in the first evening. Not a great start!
     
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  4. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Always up early on the first day because of the time difference, i crept around the room in the dark getting ready to head down to the casino at 6am when my wife called to see how I was getting on. She must have asked why I was up so early and I replied 'Well I can't win it back laying in bed can I?'.

    This comment prompted some laughter from the other bed, as persuaded Matt to get up for that exact reason, we were both needed to do some winning so we were down in the casino for 7am.

    We started at the lift bar, playing a little VP, then a couple of slots, then we headed over to Paris to meet B for some breakfast at Hexx. It took him ages to meet us, even though we kept ringing him telling him to hurry as every minute was costing us a fortune! I think he arrived at 9am and Matt and I were already nearly $2k down between us! Breakfast at Hexx was pretty good, and I couldn't pass up the Colossal Bloody Mary....

    [​IMG]

    If my memory serves me correctly we then headed back to the Aria for some more funds from the safe, then gambled in Aria, had a few Wolf Pups while listening to Post Malone on the Harp, gambled in Park MGM, head a few beers at BrewHaus, a couple of Lagunitas in NYNY and some more blackjack, before heading downtown to the Golden Gate where I managed to win back a fair chunk at blackjack before having a few Peroni's on Freemont watching the band.

    Doesn't sound like a lot, but it was another long day 7am to 1am
     
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  5. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Friday we were up a bit later and probably headed down about 10am. We headed straight back to that Lobby Bar, and got straight back on the Wolf Pups, which were affectionately renamed Dog Bugs for some reason.

    The lobby bar over looks Julian Serrano, so breakfast was cancelled and we decided to just sit there drinking Wolf Pups until it opened at 12. B declined and went to meet E who had just landed from Chicago.

    Matt and I ordered a jug of Blue Sangria and started to order recklessly off the menu. I had eaten at JS before and remember it being really good. This time I was pretty underwhelmed.
    Some of the dishes were good, but nothing outstanding. The yellow tail ceviche just didnt work and we were surprised when the lamb chop dish contained a single lamb chop.
    $380 for an average lunch for 2 seemed a bit excessive!

    B and E turned up while we were eating and decided they would eat and ordered a few dishes in a much more sensible fashion.

    We then went to play craps and had a really good time on a $10 table. A couple of the crew were on really good form, and we had a really good laugh with them.

    After that we had one of the best and worst blackjack sessions ever. Probably for about 5-6 hours.

    We had a great time at the table, pretty drunk at this point, I decided that if you could split them you must split them. E and I were playing this rule regardless of how bad the play was and we even managed to get random people at the table to join in with us. The jack and gingers were flowing but it all got a bit too much, I went from about $800 up, to losing everything I had on me, Matt paying me the $2k he borrowed the day before, that went, money from the cash machine went, a friendly lady who had been greatly amused by my splitting rule and had occasionally joined in kindly donated $100 so I could double my final hand, which obviously also lost. Luckily for me, when I asked the pit boss I had made friends with if I could get $1000 on credit, he went to check but politely declined as I obviously had no credit line set up with them... thank god!

    A quick glass of wine in Alibi and then off to the room to vomit in the sink. :goofy:
     
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  6. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Saturday morning was a bit of a blur, I think I was still pretty drunk from the night before. It's becoming a bit of a tradition for Matt and I to have an emotional chat during each Vegas trip, and this trip was no different as I received a bit of bad news from home, combined with a few other things going off. So we sat there at the lobby bar again, drinking more Wolf Pups, but I desperately needed to get to the outlets and we were going home the next day.

    Part of the deal with my wife is that I video call her from the outlets and buy stuff for the kids. So I headed off to the North Outlets about midday, a bit tipsy already, while Matt went to meet B & E.
    I managed a pretty good shop and most importantly my wife was satisfied with my efforts! I headed back in a taxi at about 4pm, lugged the bags to the room and sat on the bed to call Matt and see where they were.
    I woke up, in that same position phone on the floor, at 1am. Disaster! I had missed the last night!
     
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  7. casinokid68

    casinokid68 VIP Whale

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    Man, sorry about that rotten luck at the blackjack table, but sounds like you guys had a blast!! Good luck on the upcoming trip next week. Win it all back and more!!:drunk:
     
  8. casinokid68

    casinokid68 VIP Whale

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    Your wife calls you and asks why are you up so early? LOL Didn't she think that she would wake you up with that phone call? When I call my wife at 6 am from Vegas, and it's 9 am in NYC, she always asks me why I am up so early. Jet lag, hello!! :cuss:
     
  9. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    I didn't feel great the next day, I think the 4 days continual drinking had ruined my insides.

    Matt and I headed to the Aria Cafe for breakfast, no idea why I ordered the Crab Benedict but I couldn't stomach it.

    We had both gambled a fair bit, Matt had been to withdraw money at the cage multiple times. It's fair to say that we were comp noobs at this point. Last time we were in Vegas we had a free breakfast using our Total Rewards points we had accumulated.
    We thought MGM would be similar. Matt had lost 5 figures, so we were both pretty amused when the the waiter told Matt that he had 0 points on his card so he couldn't comp anything!

    We met up with E & B to say farewell as I hadn't even seen them the previous day. Matt went to investigate why he couldn't even get a cup of coffee for free while I played a little last day black jack.

    Matt got directed to the duty host, who explained they work differently to Ceaser's and the best thing to do is room charge everything then get it comped at the end. As we had booked through a third party we only had the resort fee, late checkout and a few mini bar bits on the bill. They comped $150 off based on Matt's play and when I went down with my card they comped the remaining $200 off and checked us out. This was the first time I have received any back end comps and it was a nice touch not to have to hand over $350 at the end of a disastrous trip.

    Although there were some great moments this trip its just been a drunken mess. One day we didn't leave the Aria, the next day I got drunk in the morning, shopped and went to bed. We didn't make the Stage Door. We only ate one proper meal, and I love my food! I turned what could have been a break even trip into a very expensive one with two drunken blackjack sessions.

    While having a pint and a bite to eat at the Village Pub at the airport, I said something i never thought I would say....

    'Matt, I think I am done with Vegas, at least for a few years. Maybe I will come back in 2022 for my 40th.'
     
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  10. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Ha!

    I may have called her after she had messaged, or it may have been an emergency!
     
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  11. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    So I get home Monday morning, straight back to work on Tuesday, and its one of those back to reality weeks.
    At the end of the week my wife says, "maybe you should go back later in the year"

    I am not sure what possessed her to suggest this, maybe it was a test to see if I was really ready for a break from Vegas.

    The following week on our standard Wednesday curry night, I mentioned the suggestion to Matt.

    So just over a week after I declared a 4 year year Vegas hiatus, we were checking flights and making plans.

    As it turns out this November trip is pretty well timed, as I might have to have a break next year when our 3rd child arrives!
     
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  12. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    So I think that brings us up to date!

    I have a Virgin Atlantic credit card that gets me 1.5 miles per £1 spent, pair that with a Curve card that allows me to make payments to HMRC (the UK version of IRS) on behalf of work through the Virgin card and I have access to a fair few airmiles.

    With a little bit of work we managed to get Upper Class return flights for £600 each, that's definitely the first win of this trip as they would normally be around £3k each.

    Virgin have moved their Vegas flights from Gatwick to Heathrow, both London airports but about an hour apart. It saves us an hour on the car journey but instead of an 10.20 flight time, it is now 14.20 meaning we get into Vegas in the evening rather than at lunch time.

    Although the Aria was really nice, we enjoyed the lively atmosphere in NY NY so I had a look to see what kind of a deal we could get.
    As I mentioned we were comping noobs, so I was really surprised when I logged into the MGM site to see the word COMP all over the calendar screen.
    After a bit of investigation I realised I could get 4 comp nights at NY NY and $100 FB, so it was only going to cost $40 +RF. Booked!! Another win already!

    A month or so later Matt managed to log in, he was being offered 4 nights in a Spa Suite with $250 FB and no resort fee! Incredible!

    After reading up on things on VMB, I decided the best play was to pick the friendliest looking host on the NYNY website and drop them an email.

    We gave him both our Mlife numbers, explained we had some good offers but could really do with two beds in the room, so could he sort us a good price for a Players Suite. He emailed back and it was sorted. 5 nights in a Players Suite (weird L shaped room, I know) no resort fee and $250 FB.

    This felt like a whole new world opening up to us of being able to win before we had even started the trip!
     
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  13. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    After the Feb trip just turned into a drunken gamblefest, I thought it might be good to have a little idea of what to do or maybe a bit of a plan.

    I'm not one for itineraries......

    Who am I kidding! POW!

    [​IMG]

    I LOVE ITINERARIES!

    I doubt very much we will stick to this plan. In fact I doubt we will achieve half of it but it gives us something to work towards.

    A few stops on here are inspired by other peoples trip reports so big thanks to them.

    Open to suggestions and tweaks any of you may have!
     
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  14. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    The bankroll has arrived...[​IMG]
     
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  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice recap of the last trip! I hope you do much better this time! I'm surprised you had the courage to even write it up! And I actually still have yet to try wolf pup! But not sure I want to now unless you win on this trip. Haha

    And a lot on that itinerary, some of those places you're definitely going to have to skip. Or cut into your liberal gambling blocks!
     
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  16. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Thanks tring

    I sincerely hope I win too. It would make a nice change.

    Got a few myVegas rewards to fit in their too...


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Spivderman

    Spivderman Macallan 17, please!

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    This is fantastic!! Zuma is a must.
     
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  18. carolineno

    carolineno VIP Whale

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    Have a great time! The 2-for-1 Tom beers was a voucher for us this past August, and our table had two of them. We were pleasantly surprised by the drink quality.

    I do in depth itineraries too but they eventually go sideways.
     
    12 hours at Harrahs first, then Cosmo!!
    MyVegas comp
  19. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Just looked it up! Looks incredible, I love sushi....

    Slight problem is Matt isnt really a foodie kind a guy. He is more than happy with a slice of pizza or burger so I have my work cut out getting him to nice places in general. I think sushi might be a step too far!
     
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  20. Stuart Hopkin

    Stuart Hopkin Low-Roller

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    Thanks @caralineno

    I think I read that somewhere too. I love a Lagunitas over here but they import it a little weaker so I'm looking forward to those Tom Sized beers of the genuine article.